The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Venkat provides the continuity
- Wright’s successor Whatmore, Moody haven’t applied; Panel meets in city tomorrow
(From top) Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastr

Calcutta: Srinivas Venkatraghavan, who had a hand in John Wright’s appointment as Team India coach back in November 2000, is going to have a say in his successor’s as well.

Venkat is one of three former captains (others being Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri) on the six-member committee constituted by the Board on Friday to 'deliberate on the CVs of prospective candidates.'

Chaired by president Ranbir Singh Mahendra, the committee also features immediate past president Jagmohan Dalmiya and secretary S.K.Nair.

Meeting No. 1 is here on Sunday.

Besides Venkat, the Board’s coach-appointing committee in 2000 had Dr A. C. Muthiah, Raj Singh Dungarpur, Jaywant Lele and Hanumant Singh.

The Board is well represented on the latest committee, too, but Dalmiya told The Telegraph it has an 'open mind' and will be 'guided' by the former captains.

'We’re going to tap their experience in different areas of the game,' he said, interacting exclusively.

Dalmiya even informed the committee 'may not' only assess the CVs sent to the Board. The Board’s Media release, though, gave the Venkats a limited brief.

'Look, we’ve got an open mind' It’s not necessary for the committee to restrict itself to those who have applied on their own,' he pointed out.

Actually, the committee can have a problem if it doesn’t look beyond the CVs already with the Board ' reason being just two have been received.

And, contrary to the impression encouraged by some in the Board, neither Dav Whatmore nor Tom Moody has applied.

That bit got confirmed by Nair ('I don’t have a third CV'), when contacted in Thiruvanthapuram.

In any case, Whatmore has extended his contract with Bangladesh. Moody, currently with Worcestershire, is being targeted by Sri Lanka.

The CVs have only come from Greg Chappell (also contacted by the Lankans) and Dean Jones. Chappell’s, one learns, was e-mailed by an Indian associate.

Chappell, of course, was a candidate in 2000 as well, but the Board then found him 'too expensive.' Moreover, at that time, the brass wasn’t sure how somebody with his profile would relate to our own stars.

Predictably, Chappell’s presentation before that committee had, to quote Raj Singh, been 'mind blowing.'

As for Jones, he figures in the CBI’s report on match-fixing and the Board is aware of that. He is being very ambitious.

By the way, somewhat out of the blue, Allan Border’s name has begun to do the rounds.

The Board, incidentally. may ‘consult’ big guns Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar ' possibly even Anil Kumble and Virender Sehwag ' before naming Wright’s successor.

Makes sense, as they will be the ones working with the coach, whose first assignment is going to be the July-August tri-series in Sri Lanka.

Footnote: It’s disappointing that Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi keeps getting ignored. He ought to have been on the latest committee, but the Board believes the (iconic) former captain doesn’t closely follow present-day cricket. Whatever, the loss isn’t Pataudi’s.

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